Google Announces New AdMob Features To Expand Support For In-App Purchases

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Google is announcing a number of updates today to its AdMob mobile ad platform — the most-requested ones, according to Jonathan Alferness (Google’s direct of product management for mobile ads), are integration with Google Analytics and ads for in-app purchases.

Alferness said that after Google acquired AdMob in 2010 and started integrating it with Google platforms including AdWords, there was a lot of “mundane migration work” to do. Now, however, that work is done and Google is ready to make some bigger upgrades.

The broad theme of these changes, as laid out in a blog post, is getting AdMob ready for the “second app economy.” The company suggests that the first app economy was “focused on paying for apps up front,” and we’re now entering “the era of free apps and incremental payments.”

What that means for publishers and developers, Alferness said, is an increasing focus on the value of an audience, not just its size. And Google aims to provide more insight into that value with the aforementioned Google Analytics integration, which will allow developers to see all their monetization data, particularly data related to in-app purchases, from within AdMob.

And one way that developers can act on that data is through the new ads, which deliver targeted promotions for in-app purchases to a segment of their audience. Alferness said some developers could have “hacked the house ads functionality” to do something similar with AdMob’s existing products, but that was “nowhere near as elegant” as the new units.

Other additions include ad network optimization and live CPM, which collectively allow AdMob to look at the most up-to-date pricing data from ad networks and from Google’s other ad sources, and then request an ad from the highest-paying source. And Google has released its App Developer Business Kit, with data and tips about how developers can make money.

Google will also be discussing the announcements today at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco (if you’re not there there, you can watch the livestream), including an AdMob-focused session at noon Pacific.